Lately, the dog and I have found ourselves out with the coyotes and the cops. This has been due to awakening in the middle of the night and being unable to return to sleep. So we go out for a walk. When a trainman blows his whistle as a train nears one of Pratt's railroad [...]

Lately, the dog and I have found ourselves out with the coyotes and the cops.
This has been due to awakening in the middle of the night and being unable to return to sleep.
So we go out for a walk.
When a trainman blows his whistle as a train nears one of Pratt's railroad crossings, it riles up the coyotes on the outskirts of town. If the wind is calm or blowing from just the right direction, you will clearly hear the canine response, even in the middle of town, as yipping and howling ensue after the engineer blasts his whistle. To me, it's a soothing sound.
So far this week I have witnessed two police officers patrolling residential areas, including my own neighborhood. After one walk, I decided to empty the cold ash from our barbeque grill, since it was trash day. As I dumped the ash into a sack inside the dumpster while holding a small flashlight in my mouth, a policeman drove by. After I finished and was dismantling the barbecue grill, to store it, on the sidewalk, the police vehicle drove up again, this time stopping and rolling down his window.
'Are you okay?' he asked, as I walked slowly toward him.
'Yes,' I replied, 'I was having a hard time sleeping and decided to empty the ash out of the barbecue grill. It's trash day.'
He simply said, 'You take care,' and drove onward.
That was a positive encounter, and, with the recent increase in crime in Pratt, it's good to know that the police are out there doing their job.
And yes, I carry a cell phone with me on these nighttime walks, just in case I need to report a crime in progress.